Dark Scribe Magazine is running an in-depth interview with Ellen Datlow in their current edition. Datlow always knew she wanted to work with books and says that she knew the best way to do that was to work in a bookstore or to somehow get into publishing. She eventually started looking to get into editing – with no real idea of what editing was, she claims – and landed her first industry job as a sales assistant with Little, Brown and Company’s New York office. In the fall of 1979, she landed a gig as Associate Fiction Editor with Omni magazine. Two years later, she was promoted to Fiction Editor with the magazine, then its Internet-based Omni Online, where she remained through 1998, also editing ten Omni-associated anthologies during her tenure. The rest of her continuing story is better chronicled in bibliographical lists and biographical compendiums.

In response to a question about the material she reads for her Year’s Best Fantasy series already being pre-vetted to a great extent and, thereby, not true slush, Datlow had this to say: “In an ideal world the stories I read in magazines have indeed been vetted. But of course I never read unpublished work for my Best of the Year. Neither does Kathryn. My point – if I remember correctly – was that I discover new writers all the time, and have been for going on twenty-three years now, because I try to read widely in and out of the horror field, looking for horror in all kinds of places, including magazines and webzines of every type and genre – including mainstream – that publish fiction. So over the years I’ve developed a gigantic pool of writers whose work I love. From those hundreds of writers, I will contact those I think would be able to write something wonderful for any given project.”

Read the complete interview: Ellen Datlow

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